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Moos: Review shows no abuse in football program

By Brady Henderson

Washington State athletic director Bill Moos says his review of the university’s football program revealed “no report or detection of abuse or inappropriate behavior.”

Moos was told last month by WSU president Elson Floyd to conduct a review of the program after former Cougars wide receiver Marquess Wilson alleged that players were the target of “physical, emotional and verbal abuse” by Mike Leach’s coaching staff.

In a report released Wednesday by the university, Moos says Wilson recanted those allegations in a text message he sent Moos following a Nov. 10 game against UCLA. Wilson, the school’s all-time leading receiver, made the allegations and announced he was leaving the team via a statement that was released before that game.

Moos was asked to conduct a review the following week.

Two members of his staff interviewed 12 players, and according to the report, all of them felt they were having a positive experience at Washington State.

From the report: “The players said they believe in the coaches and that they will take the program to a higher level. They said the coaches are tough but fair and that they care about them as human beings. They went on to say the coaching staff has boosted the confidence of the team and that all players are treated equally regardless of role.”

According to the report, most of the 12 players said they felt Wilson “let the team down and put them, their coach and WSU in a bad light.”

The review also sought input from others in the athletic department who work directly with the football program.

“Once I received the findings from members of my staff, I found that the program is moving in the desired direction, that it is on-par with, or exceeds, other BSC-level programs in terms of expectations and commitment,” Moos wrote in a statement. “Transition in coaching changes is rarely smooth, however, after reviewing the comments from the players that were interviewed, I am encouraged the program is moving in a positive direction.”

The university’s press release included a statement from Floyd saying he will “thoroughly evaluate” Moos’ report as well as the report he requested from the Pac-12, which he is expecting to receive soon.